Carbon Fibers Manufacturer Wins Dismissal of Second Antitrust Suit

August 10, 2010

On August 10, Cleary Gottlieb won dismissal on statute of limitations grounds of a lawsuit accusing its client, Toho Tenax, of conspiring with other carbon fiber manufacturers to fix prices in the mid-to-late 1990s. This decision, in federal court in California, followed the dismissal last week of a parallel case filed in California state court. The plaintiff in the case relied on a tolling agreement signed in 2003 to preserve its claims beyond the four-year statute of limitations. The district court agreed with Toho Tenax that the plaintiff terminated its participation in the tolling agreement in 2007 when it sued another party to the agreement, and not in 2010 when it sued Toho Tenax. In addition, the court sided with Toho Tenax in holding that the tolling agreement was limited to four years under a California statute, and therefore expired in 2007 regardless of the plaintiff’s actions.